Depending on who you listen to, most of you know that your child should be eating between five and nine servings of vegetables every single day. But how in the world can that happen if you have a child resisting anything that looks like it came from Mother Earth?

It’s not easy, that’s for sure, but it can be done with a little creativity and a well thought-out weekly menu. Most doctors agree that kids (and parents too, for that matter) need to eat at least five times a day for optimum nutrition and digestion. A good day is going to have three balanced meals with two healthy snacks in between.

So let’s start with your breakfast.

If you like to begin the day with an egg dish, scramble a little tomato, onion and bell peppers in there. Add some crunchy tortilla chips and you’ve got yourself some delicious migas. If your child prefers something on the sweeter side, serve up a muffin or banana bread – but don’t forget the veggie purees! I always add pureed zucchini or pumpkin or butternut squash or sweet potato to my baked goodies so I know there’s some veggie content in there.

That’s one veggie serving down, and four (or more) to go.

Lunchtime is all about convenience, assuming your child is in school or daycare. So make sure to pack some sliced cucumber and tomato, or baby carrots and yellow peppers in your child’s lunchbox every day. If your child won’t normally eat that type of thing, it’s time to come up with a reward chart to encourage them to do so. Think about it. Once you can get this routine going, you’re already at serving number two and only halfway through your day!

When afternoon munchies roll around after school, don’t give your child the option of something loaded with hydrogenated fat, empty calories or sugar. Simply serve up some sliced veggies with their favorite dip, or make a smoothie with some avocado. If they’re hungry, they will eat it! And then, right before dinner, it’s time to get out your juicer. I always try to give my son some fresh juice at this time of day, because I know I’m already on serving number four before we’ve even thought about dinner. Some days it might be granny smith apple with cucumber, spinach and lemon. Other days, it’s carrot, pineapple and beets. I make the juice and then dilute it 50/50 with filtered water. If he wants to go outside or play computer or watch TV, he knows he has to drink his veggie juice first. Works like a charm!

Now, let’s move on to dinner. Last year, I instituted a rule in our household, which is, “You must have a salad before dinner is served.” Some days, I serve a small spinach salad with little slivers of orange and orange juice squeezed over it. Other days, it might be fermented veggies with chopped apple. At this point in the day, I know my son has already received at least five servings of vegetables – some with his knowledge – and some without Dinner comes with a serving of broccoli, corn, zucchini, carrots, or cauliflower, and to me – these are practically bonus servings. Around our house, spaghetti and pizza sauces always have a veggie puree in the mix. Meatloaf, hamburger patties and meatballs are also loaded with at least 50% vegetable (think zucchini, onion, mushroom, carrot, garlic, etc.)

Are you starting to see how this can actually work for you?

Teaching your child to make more nutritious food choices is one of the best investments you can make right now in your child’s overall health. Simply start with one of these suggestions and work your way up from there. Your goal should be to add one more serving each week, until it becomes the regular routine. And the cool thing is, as your child begins to start eating more vegetables, the side benefit is that you probably will too!

Author's Bio: 

Susan Lynn Perry is an autism expert featured on, as well as a published freelance writer and best-selling author of fiction, nonfiction, short stories and inspirational articles. With a young son emerging daily from the autism haze, her real-life inspiration often comes in the form of something as simple as a gesture or smile that most parents might take for granted. A native Texan, Susan now lives in San Antonio with her rambunctious family, including an enormous cat named Bobo, and a feisty AussieDoodle named Emma. She is also the writer, producer and promoter of The Mother Cub Show, All About Autism – a weekly radio talk show reaching over 17,000 listeners/month worldwide. The show is currently on hiatus, but past episodes may be downloaded from the archives page of her website,